City Park will be transformed into an art wonderland this weekend for the seventh annual Brentwood Art, Wine & Jazz Festival.
Upon entering the festivities, art docents will be available to take festival goers on a tour of the artistic merriment that will wash over the park. This year's event, organized by the Brentwood Art Society, is free to the public and will feature many new attractions offering something for everyone to enjoy, from art activities for the kids to wine tasting for the adults, with music and fun in between.
The two-day event will feature the work of 50 Bay Area artists, eight musical performances, plus food and wine to dazzle the palate.
This event is for the people, about the people and by the people of Brentwood, said Peggie Schuitemaker, festival promotions coordinator. It is a celebration of art and cultural art in our community. It will be an experience of a lifetime for the entire family.
Marilyn Pellouchoud, a local artist whose paintings will be on display, said the festival is a great way to meet people: Being part of the festival helps you get to know the community and be involved in what the community has to offer to local artists, as well as get to know the people who run businesses, have families and are involved in advancement of the arts and the appreciation for the local artists.
Ron Beatty, secretary of the Brentwood Art Society, will be showing his paintings at the festival for the first time.
I began painting about 12 years ago as a hobby, said Beatty. I describe myself as a Sunday afternoon painter,' not an artist. Since my eyes don't read road signs very well, my wife does most of the driving. This gives me the opportunity to enjoy the scenery and snap pictures of barns, landscapes and other interesting features that I later put down on canvas.
For the inner artist in you, classes will be offered through the weekend to help you learn and improve your skills. If you're brave enough to show off your skills in public, grab a paintbrush at Your Place at the Easel, where you can paint in the park for a 30-minute session.
The Art Wine & Jazz Festival is also a place for budding young artists to show off their creations at the Wall of Art, which will feature 1,500 works of art by students from the Brentwood Union and Liberty Union school districts.
The Wall of Art is included as a way for children of the community to share their artwork as part of the community celebration of art, said Mary Black, a director of the Brentwood Art Society.
While kids continue to show off their artistic talents at the Little Clusters Children's Area, the grownups can sample wines from local vineyards. A blind taste test will be held, and those who can correctly identify 10 wines will have their name entered into a drawing to win a refrigerator stocked with local wines. All participants will receive an I'm a wine-snob button. The cost is $5 to participate. No outside alcohol is allowed at this event.
If you're looking to sample East County's outstanding wines, stop by Vinter's Corner, hosted by Brentwood Co. Co. County Wine Company, to get a taste of wines from Hannah Nicole Vineyards, Bloomfield Vineyards and Tamayo Family Vineyards. Other wines from the Bay Area will be provided by Shadowbrook Winery of Walnut Creek and Sterling Alberty Winery of Concord. Souvenir wine glasses are available for $10.
This year's festival will also feature a Grape Stomp in which visitors can get in on the action and dig their toes into the fun of crushing grapes to make wine. They can just crush away, said Schuitemaker. They also get a button as proof of their efforts.
After sipping all the wines, make sure to take in some of the enticing foods prepared by local restaurants at Appetizer Alley. For $3 to $5 a plate, you'll get a dish with a special wine glass holder built right in. The Alley offers tasty treats from Uno Chicago Grill, India 4 U, Brentwood Fine Meats, Gooseberry Fool, Boardwalk Grill, El Gallito Drive In and many more. An Oyster Bar will also be up and running.
If jazz gets your toes tappin', check out the tunes of the Joe Craven Trio at 5 p.m. on Saturday. Craven creates music with everything around him. The gifted musician will play anything with strings, even if it's a guitar made out of cereal boxes. Craven has performed with jazz violinist Stephane Grappelli, The Persuasions and the legendary Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead.
Other bands on hand throughout the weekend include Carey Hurst; Patrick McVeigh & Daybreak; The George Glover Trio, featuring Nina Hamilton; Chris Hewitt & Big Fat Swing Company; and Brentwood's own Summerset Big Band.
Those hankering to display their own musical talents can participate in the Jazzin' Jam Session on Sunday at 2 p.m. There will be two practice sessions with Big Fat Swing Company in the Community Center, adjacent to City Park. Make sure to bring your own instrument so that you can practice with the pros. You and the band will work on a piece to be performed on the main stage on Sunday afternoon.
We'll get everyone out there, said Schuitemaker. Even if we can't fit everyone on stage, we'll make room for them in front of the stage so that everyone gets a chance to perform.
The festival will kick off at 10 a.m. on Saturday with the raising of the flag, accompanied by the national anthem sung by Gene Clare. The presentation of the Artist of the Year award will begin at 10:15. Sue Stuart will accept the award on behalf of her husband, Bruce, who passed away this summer. At noon, Sue will conduct Bruce's Brentwood Concert Band for the first time since his passing. The festival ends for the night at 7.
Just because the festival closes down for the night on Saturday doesn't mean the fun stops. Go to downtown Brentwood for Festival After Dark, where local merchants and restaurants will stay open later on this special weekend. Stop by Cap's Oak Street Bar and Grill for exclusive dinner specials or check out Gooseberry Fool for live jazz and the restaurant's special Jazzy Ribs.
The festival will resume on Sunday at 10 a.m. and come to a close at 6 p.m.
For more information, visit www.deltademoinc.com/bawjf.html.